Express TagEngine is an intelligent workflow solution specifically developed for hang tag printing industry. The goal is to offer a highly sophisticated automation process to take away some of the tedious steps, and produce an accurate layout required by this demanding industry. Express TagEngine is an end to end solution that includes database manipulation, data grouping, generation of labels with variable data element, cost estimation based on paper usage and print run, generate production reports for proofs and delivery. Most important of all, it takes away all the labor intensive work to make this a simple process.
On the printing front, Express TagEngine cater solution for both offset and digital printing, user can select sheetwise, work-and-turn, work-and-tumble to suit the need at the time. A selection of production report is available for user to choose from, tailoring it to meet the need of packing detail, delivery and management requirement. Express TagEngine is easy to use, just drag and drop an order into the system, we will provide you the most cost effective solutions available.
Taking the advantage of Compose Express Workflow, additional function like preflighting, trapping, proofing, and CIP3/4 generation can all be seamlessly integrated.
- Based on the print run of each tag to provide a list of optimum imposition layout
- Cost estimation is based on the paper price and running cost to reflect which solution is most practical for production.
- High speed. Save over 90% of time against traditional method
- Comprehensive reports for production, packing information and management
- Integration with variable data software to make tags simple and error free
- A choice of four tag orientation to fit the die cut and ink key requirement
- Provide imposition layout for proofing, digital printing, or offset printing
Hang tag production is a highly skillful profession. It involves many processes, database manipulation and preparation, data grouping, variable data preparation, samples, proof printing, imposition layout calculation, printing, packaging and delivery. Many of them are very time consuming and need experience operators. Hang tag printers very often receive an order which varies from thousands to a million tags, each tag contains many variable data, for example size, color code, product name, UPC number. . . Each tag group can have a print run vary from tens to thousands. With that in mind one can imagine the complexity and the skill set required in production. Express TagEngine is a production system specially developed for hang tag printing industry. From database verification, hang tag imposition to reports generation.
With the ability to generate tags based on all the variable elements, Compose is offering a complete system that truly works from start to finish. All you need is Express Tag Engine from Compose.
Database Verification and Job Submission
Variable data for hang tag production are usually saved in CSV or TXT format. Depending on the incoming source, it is often that the database is incomplete. It may have duplicated rows, empty fields, incorrect spelling and incorrect barcode format. Those errors need to be picked up by operator traditionally. Giving an example order with 45 hang tags, each tag has 7 variable data fields, there are 315 items need to be checked. It is a very time consuming and easy to have human errors. If an error is overlooked, it could result with a very serious problem because it will take time and money to reprint, refinish, and repack the tag. It may even need to re-ship the tags to customer again! Order Express, an application that comes with the Express Tag Engine, provides solution to overcome this problem. By Order Express, operator can find out duplicated rows to ignore one row or combine them as one record; able to find empty fields to let operator to input correct data, to spell check from a self-defined dictionary and verify barcode format. After this verification, data is confirmed as correct which minimizes the chance of reproduction due to data error. Color code and product size are two most often appear variable fields in tags. Each color code or product size may be represented by a pantone color in the product. In addition, same color code tags are usually packed together. In Order Express, you can specify how tags should be grouped for production and pack. It saves cost on printing as well as time on packing.
Job submission to Express Tag Engine is done in Order Express, which provides the easiest and most straight forward method to submit a job for production.
Velocity - variable Data Engine
Variable Data Generation and Tags Imposition
Traditionally, Hang Tag printers generate variable data file manually. They may generate barcodes by one software and import them to a graphics design software to generate the variable data file. This can be a very time consuming process and may need content proofing. Compose provides variable data solution to serves this purpose. With the software, operator can import a PDF or a raster file as template, you can define the properties of variable texts, images, and barcodes, import the database file in CSV or TXT, variable data file can then be generated. The variable components and their properties can be saved into a file and reused in next order.
Express TagEngine gives the freedom to customer to use their existing method to generate variable data as long as the data file is in PDF and each file or page is a record.
Creating imposition layout and calculating print run used to be a complicated process in hang tag printing. It is because each tag type contains different size information and print quantity. Operators will first judge by experience on how to group different tag type onto a plate and then calculate or estimate which tag type should step and repeat onto the plate. Calculation is done by experience which not only cost intensive labor but also lack of flexibility to adapt the print requirements.
Express TagEngine breakthroughs this situation by using a few and sophisticated imposition algorithms which are tailor designed to adapt the complication on hang tag printing. A self-defined parameter to specify the number of solutions to be proposed and then ordered according to the cost of production. The most important is this solution proposal can be achieved in a very short time. It is estimated that saves over 95% of time on imposition.
The intelligent and sophisticated imposition algorithms of Express TagEngine is not the only attractive point to make it to be a must have solution for hang tag printers. Its features include:
- 2 levels of imposition layout proposal. Operator can generate solution by a group of paper each at different dimension or who can choose a known paper dimension for solution. The frontier method helps operator to determine which paper dimension may produce the most optimal and least wastage. Once it is found, this paper dimension can be used for that hang tag. The latter method helps operator to determine which imposition layout presents the least wastage or lowest cost of production.
- 3 Work Styles + Mounting. Operator can freely and instantly change different work styles, which include Sheetwise, Work & Turn, Work & Tumble. Under the Work & Turn and Work & Tumble, operator can specify the center gutter width. This feature helps to mount the front and back page together and double the thickness of a tag.
- 4 Hang Tag orientation choices. Based on the graphic design of the tag, it may need to orientate in different way to fit the ink key requirement and ease of die cutting. Express TagEngine provides four Hang Tag orientation choices – head to head, head to tail in row, head to tail in column and checker box pattern.
- 6 Packing methods. Post processing is always a very time consuming process in hang tag production. After hang tags are die-cut, labor needs to detach hang tags from print sheets and collect them together. A good packing method will help to speed up this process. Express TagEngine provides 6 packing method to choose.
- Adapt to Offset, Digital and Proofing. Once a job is imported to Express Tag Engine, operator can freely and instantly change the imposition layout to fit for offset printing, digital printing or proofing.
- Cost Estimation. Express TagEngine estimates the production cost of each solution according to the self-defined full sheet paper cost and operation cost. Operation cost may include the labor cost, press setup cost, film and plate cost.
- Default and Custom marks, labels and colorbar. Operator can use the default or self-define marks, labels for each tag, sheet, and plate. Custom colorbar can be imported to the software and saved it as paper or plate template for easy reuse.
Production and Management Reports
Express TagEngine provides a series of comprehensive reports for production and management. There is a job summary report which describes the detail information of the job, which includes billing information, delivery information, order information, sheet dimension, sheet type, total print run, wastage, production cost, etc. The second report is the Layout Sheet of each plate. It provides a faded output of imposed page with column unique ID, packing ID, and print quantity and order quantity for each tag.
The third report is the Plate Set Breakdown report. The first page of this report gives an idea of the number tag types and tags on each plate and print run. From second page onwards, it lists out detail information of each tag type including the packing ID. This report could be used by post processing department to provide an overview which tag types are printed by that plate.
The fourth report is the Production Summary report. It is a form for each production department to fill in what have been produced. Production manager can then have a clear view the progress of the production and determine whether an order is ready to be shipped out.
The fifth report is a Packaging Summary report. It clearly tells the number of boxes for an order. It also detail out the information of each package box, like which tag types are in a package box. This also can serve as package box label.